The German philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (1714–1762) introduced “aesthetics” as a new science in his Reflections on Poetry (1735) and developed this new part of philosophy in a series of later works, culminating in his unfinished Aesthetics (1750/1758). This volume is the first collection of essays in the English language devoted to Baumgarten’s aesthetics. The essays highlight the distinguishing features of Baumgarten’s aesthetics, situate it in its historical context, document its reception, and examine its contributions to contemporary philosophy.
J. Colin McQuillan is associate professor of philosophy at St Mary's Unversity, Texas. He is the co-editor, with Joseph Tanke, of the Bloomsbury Anthology of Aesthetics and author of Early Modern Aesthetics (Rowman & Littlefield International).
J. Colin McQuillan
1.Baumgarten’s Invention of Aesthetics
2. Baumgarten’s Aesthetics: Topics and the Modern Ars inveniendi
3. Beauty and Appearance in Baumgarten’s Metaphysics and Aesthetics
4. Baumgarten’s Conception of Aesthetic Truth in the Aesthetics
5. Pietist Aisthēsis and Moral Education in the Works of Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten
6. Wolffian Rationalism and Baumgarten’s Aesthetics
7. The Co-Founding of Aesthetics: Baumgarten and Meier
8. An Exercise in Humanity: Baumgarten and Mendelssohn on the Importance of Aesthetic Training
9. Herder’s Engagement with Baumgarten
10. The Majesty of Cognition: The Sublime in Baumgarten, Mendelssohn, and Kant
Robert R. Clewis
11. The Discipline of Aesthetics is the Aesthetics of Discipline: Baumgarten from Foucault’s Perspective
12. The Happy Aesthetician and the Feminist Killjoy: Baumgarten and Ahmed
This excellent volume on Baumgarten's aesthetics edited by J. Colin McQuillan provides a wide ranging set of essays that expand on Baumgarten's new science of sensible cognition as well as the aesthetic perfections of clarity and liveliness that characterize beauty. The essays collected in this volume also show how this new discipline relates to the modern search for the art of invention, the Pietist faith in communication through the affects, and Baumgarten's influence on later philosophers.
This volume of excellent studies helps the English readership better understand that the phenomenon of the aesthetic is a highly important modern development, and that, during its evolution in the eighteenth century, several ideas, insights and theoretical tracks were raised which later, especially after Immanuel Kant’s contribution to the field, became underestimated, less discussed, if at all, or even misunderstood.
This is a vibrant collection of essays that decisively underlines A. G. Baumgarten's dynamism and independence as a thinker, carefully traces the breadth and depth of his historical influence, and makes a compelling and innovative case for his enduring contemporary relevance.
Baumgarten is an essential link in the tradition of modern German philosophy and his aesthetics is central to understanding the originality of his philosophical project. This volume unites the best, previous scholarship on Baumgarten’s aesthetics with exciting new essays demonstrating the continued significance of his thought. It will be essential reading for all scholars of modern German philosophy and the history of aesthetics and, due to its thorough introduction and comprehensive scope, could also serve brilliantly as an introductory textbook.